In specific preparation for this event, John had been working with Clara Anne for several weeks to talk through the gospel, make sure she understood, and that her desire to be baptized was a true and sincere one. Actually it has been quite some time since we felt like we saw a specific change in her, but it was good to wait until now. But the time had come and we're so glad we could celebrate this event with our faith community (other Americans who live in our city) around us.
There were two other families who had children that were ready for this special event, so it was a triple joy to see all three of them (including Clara Anne's dear friend Emma) celebrate this together. You can see why my heart was full to bursting!
Family picture, July 3, 2010.
Clara Anne and Emma, dear friends! SO meaningful for them to do this together! I am so grateful that it worked out this way!
John asked Clara Anne a series of questions to help her share her testimony. She answered seriously and sincerely, and oh! What a touching thing for a mother's heart to hear the Words of Life come out of her mouth! All by His grace. . . thank you, Jesus!
Daddy had a few more questions to ask her while she was in the water, she had screwed her eyes tightly shut in preparation for being under the water!
Amen! Praise the Lord!
There may have been a few tears (not by her, however) at this point, but can you blame me? Oh how our hearts are rejoicing!
I made a special cake for the occasion (after my recent success with Chloe's birthday cake, I wasn't so intimidated, and thought it would be fun!) and each of the three were so excited to get their names on a piece of cake. We ordered pizza for supper, and my helper had made a HUGE fruit salad, and then all 25 of us enjoyed a meal together! What a celebration! After the meal we had a very special send-off prayer for our friends who are headed back to America, this was the last time to see some of them. Such a mix of emotions were swirling, I was glad that we were committing them into the Lord's hands and HIS good plans! The sovereignty of God and His will is a very comforting doctrine in times like this.
Thank you, Lord, for the miracle you've done in Clara Anne. Work in her heart all the days of her life. Keep her close to you. Thank you that her salvation is all of grace, for that means it is secure and safe. You promise that none will snatch your sheep out of your hand; would you keep Clara Anne's heart in that precious place of sweet communion with you. Grow her into a mature and godly woman who desires to know and serve you more than anything else. Sustain her with your love and give her a deep and abiding faith. As she grows up and becomes more independent from us, her parents, may she learn deeper and deeper dependence on you. Protect her from harm, I pray, take away the allure of sin in her heart, guard, guide and protect her forever. May she glorify her name with all that is in her! In Jesus name, Amen.